On Sunday, Foreign Minister Anthony J. Blinken criticized the Chinese government for its lack of transparency during the pandemic, particularly during the “early stages of Covid,” and called for a more thorough investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
Report for Joint investigation Published by the World Health Organization and China last month Not proven conclusively How or when the virus began to spread, and it did little to assuage Western fears that the Chinese Communist Party had made the investigation in its favor. Echoing these concerns, Mr. Blinken called on Beijing for “a genuine commitment to transparency, information sharing and access to experts.”
“I think China knows that in the early stages of Covid, it didn’t do what it needed to do,” Mr. Blinken said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “One of the consequences of this failure is that the virus got out of control faster and I think it had more terrible results than it would have happened otherwise.”
Mr. Blinken urged further investigation.
Of the origin of the virus, he said: “We need to get to the truth of this. We need to do this precisely until we fully understand what happened, in order to get the best possible shot to prevent it from happening again.”
The Secretary of State’s remarks provided a more diplomatic approach than those of Trump administration officials He sought to blame China For the spread of Covid-19 in the United States, quite often Fueling the fires of xenophobia In their public campaign to shirk responsibility for a Poor response to the epidemic. Nevertheless, Mr Blinken’s comments made clear the Biden administration’s willingness to convey its doubts about the official version coming from Beijing.
Mr. Blinken’s predecessor, Mike Pompeo, was this Confirmed with little evidence Months after the pandemic spread, the idea emerged that the coronavirus originated in a research laboratory in Wuhan, China. He put pressure on the American spy agencies To search for evidence supporting the unfounded theoryHowever, most agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to the laboratory can be found.
Days before the World Health Organization released its report, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump administration It has also been speculated that the virus originated in the laboratory In China. The former official, Dr. Robert Redfield, provided no evidence and confirmed his opinion.
The World Health Organization’s international team of experts who investigated the origin of the virus in China rejected the laboratory theory in their report, describing it as “extremely unlikely”. But Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, took an unexpected step Publicly arousing suspicion, Saying the theory required further investigation and that he was ready to deploy more experts to do so.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry and state media rejected criticism from the White House and others that Beijing was not transparent during the WHO investigation.
The Chinese experts participating in the investigation provided “the necessary facilities for the team’s work, which fully indicates its openness, transparency and responsible stance,” a representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry He said in a statement Last month. “The politicization of this issue will only severely impede global cooperation in studying assets, threaten cooperation in fighting the epidemic, and cost more lives.”